13 October 2008

Challenge?



Take a 31-day challenge with me and to read the 31 verses of Proverbs 31 every day for the next 31 days.

[Danger: dripping sarcasm ahead, and not one of my friends are being singled out and picked on here:]

"Ack. - Proverbs 31? Sorry - not perfect, not me: I have no husband, no children, wasn't raised in the church, don't have the money or the servants, can't sew, can't cook, don't live in Israel, yada yada yada."

Oh, I'm sorry.

Excuse me, God? Did you hear? You put something in your perfectly saved and written Word that doesn't apply to us today, which we can't even learn anything from.

And, NO, I didn't really mean that.

You know what - I dislike this chapter of Proverbs, too. It has always been some "high ideal that nobody can reach" in my mind for so long, that I've probably forgotten most of the verses I memorized for Bible class when I was younger. This lady makes me tired. She makes me feel inadequate. She makes me feel guilty.

But I'm committed to trying even more to be the woman that God made me to be. I feel confused and discouraged so many times. I argue with my husband. I let my children get away with things that I had determined to never let them get away with, and things which could very well make their future life more difficult. I end a day discouraged because I haven't done everything I wanted to do - or anything I wanted. Sometimes I spend too much time on the computer.

Consider this quote:

"You take time to look through women’s magazines to see what a beautiful woman, a beautiful home, a beautiful marriage looks like. I want to challenge you over this next month to put down those magazines. Put them away. I’m not saying they’re necessarily sinful or wrong; I’m just saying they’re what this world has to offer in terms of a picture of beauty.

"Instead, pick up this picture. Matthew Henry called it a looking glass which every woman ought to look into as she dresses herself. Pick up this picture and examine it. Take time—spend time in it studying it—and then ask yourself, “Where am I getting my picture of what it means to be a woman?” Where are you getting your ideas of womanhood? Who shaped your standard? Was it shaped by the world, or has it been shaped by the Word of God? "

I don't think I'll ever be perfect. I don't think I'll ever "be" the Proverbs 31 woman. But I'm not even going to come close to being a woman that people will look at and see Christ living in me, glorifying God, if I don't spend time in God's Word, and allowing myself to listen and learn and shed all those years of worldliness that I've let take over my thoughts.

And if my words seem a little snotty here, consider this: I'm not perfect, but hopefully, after really listening to and spending more time with God in this matter, reverently and devotedly, I'll be able to convey my thoughts more gently, more helpfully, and more Godly.

“Why did God make women? What is His purpose for us? How is it different from His purpose for creating men?” Now, there are some purposes that are similar or the same, but there are some purposes that are unique and distinctive.

Why did God create the man first, and then the woman? What does it mean for man to provide a spiritual covering and protection for a wife, and for a woman to be a responder to male initiative? Why is this a biblical way of thinking—in a culture that thinks you’ve got two heads if you talk that way, in a culture where it’s very politically incorrect to see any but the obvious physiological differences between men and women?

Why are there differences? And why are they more significant than the physiological differences? What does that mean for a woman in dating, in courtship? What does it mean for a single woman who wants to be married? What is her role? What is her responsibility? Does she go looking for a husband? How does she respond, when she has a husband, to his leadership?

What does it mean to be the woman 1 Peter 3 talks about who has a submissive spirit—who has a gentle and a quiet spirit? Does that mean she never talks? Well, it doesn’t. But what does it mean? Does it mean she doesn’t have an outgoing personality? Well, it doesn’t mean that. But what does it mean? What does it look like for women to reflect the image of God in ways that are distinctively feminine for us as women—and for women to be women in the body of Christ?"

above questions quoted from Nancy Leigh DeMoss

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Join the challenge, read the Bible, pray daily and always
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